We’d been talking about going to the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Maryland for several years, but had never made it out there. Instead, each winter we would drive (several times in blinding snowstorms!) to Chicago for the Strictly Sail Show, which up until this year had been held indoors at Navy Pier in late January/early February. We finally decided that we would hit the show in Annapolis when we could get there in our own boat, so this was the year! At first we thought we weren’t going to make it due to hurricane Joaquin, but we ended up arriving in Annapolis on October 5th, which ironically, was the original date we had set as our goal. We ended up buying a two day pass ($31/person) and going to the show on Friday and Monday. The weather was beautiful both days and we thoroughly enjoyed our time at the show.
In addition to climbing all over several boats which were WAYYYY out of our price range and checking out all of the goodies for sale, we saw and spoke with several sailing “celebrities” while we were there. Much to our dismay however, we only remembered to ask for a picture with Paul and Sheryl Shard, producers of the Distant Shores television series. We probably spent a good 15 minutes talking with them while we were there, and they were two of the most down to earth, genuinely friendly people we’ve had the pleasure of meeting. We also spent time speaking with Lin Pardey, half of “America’s first couple of cruising” and Liza Copeland, author of four cruising books, all of which I already own. Bob Bitchin and his wife Jody were there, but we didn’t end up talking with them. However, Jody was the one who took the picture of us with the Shards! Katie and Jessie, two twenty-somethings who recently completed the Great Loop on their 27 foot sailboat Louise, were also there, but sadly we missed them.
Not only did we meet celebrities while at the boat show, but we also had the opportunity to meet up with some great sailor friends of ours! Bob, Mary and Rita, friends from Lake Erie, make the trek to Annapolis every other year, and thankfully this was one of those years! We met up with them at Pusser’s for their famous Painkillers, and are only sorry that we didn’t get to spend more time with them! We miss our friends back home so much!
We also had a chance to get together with Jim and Belinda, more sailing friends, who took us to the Chesapeake Multihull Association annual boat show party. Gino Morrelli, famous multihull designer, was the guest speaker and entertained us with stories about his experiences designing America’s Cup racing boats. We felt kind of like interlopers in the multihull world, but it was great to listen to him speak!
All in all, we had a great time at the boat show and hanging with our friends, and are really glad that Joaquin decided to turn and head offshore instead of up the Chesapeake so that we could make it to Annapolis on time. And now, just to give you all a feel for what it’s like to be at the show, here’s a quick snippet overlooking the show from the upper deck at Pusser’s, as well as some pics. Enjoy!